We’re Loving This Body-Positive Rewrite Of One Women’s Health Magazine

A good headline is the lifeblood of publishing. After all, you can have a well-written article, but it won’t mean anything if no one wants to read it. Because of this, we’re all familiar with misleading click-bait titles that range between humorous and offensive. Articles on women’s health usually have the worst of it. This woman has had enough and made some edits of her own. For some context, here’s the original cover:

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Gemma Atkinson looks incredible!!

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At a glance, you might not see anything wrong with the cover of Women’s Health UK magazine. It mentions getting fit in 2018 and how to get “killer abs” without the hassle of a workout. Look closer and you’ll see that it’s really selling diet-culture, which is where Laura Thomas drew the line.

Laura Thomas is by no means a famed chief editor. She’s a registered nutritionist based in the UK who also runs a blog on the side. She often writes about healthy eating options that don’t require diets, so you can imagine her distaste for the front cover of a Women’s Health UK magazine that she came across one day. In response, she called out the magazine on Twitter and Instagram.

Hey @UKWomensHealth your magazine cover had very little to do with actual health & everything to do with promoting over exercise & disordered eating, so I fixed it for you – you’re welcome. pic.twitter.com/izice1PQgL

— Laura Thomas, Ph.D. (@laurathomasphd) December 11, 2017

In her Instagram post, she wrote: “. . .going on a diet may transform your body (temporarily, diets don’t work long-term), but it’s not a cure for low self-esteem, it doesn’t help you cultivate body acceptance or good body image, and it can lead you down the path of disordered eating.”

Thomas’s candid rewrites serve as a powerful reminder that a woman’s worth is not in how she looks. Toned abs and a thigh gap won’t fix our relationship problems or family drama. Those are the obstacles we have to face ourselves. Publications need to understand that misleading articles do nothing to improve women’s health and self-esteem. I had hoped that a publication revolving around women’s health would have understood that.

“What this message is REALLY saying is “restrict your energy intake through disordered and restrictive eating & kill yourself in the gym, and don’t even think about having a social life”,” she wrote. “This magazine has nothing to do with health and everything to do with tearing down your self-confidence and preying on your insecurities in order to sell you something, either the magazine itself or their strategically placed partnerships.”

Thomas hopes to spread the idea that body positivity doesn’t mean striving for an industry standard body. It doesn’t mean that you have to diet to love yourself. Body positivity means to accept your perfections and flaws altogether. Work out because you want to. Feel amazing in the skin you live in. It’s okay to want to lose weight, but do it for yourself – not for some beauty standard set by society.

 

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